Accountants' confidence rises from an all-time low

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Following two months of precipitous drops, the Accountants Confidence Index levelled off a bit for June, though respondents are still deeply concerned about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy.

Respondents to our monthly survey were uniform in their agreement that the shutdown orders in states across the country were significantly harming their clients (particularly small businesses), but many were holding out hope for a rebound, or at least an end to the bleeding, all depending on how soon the economy reopens.

The ACI, published in partnership with ADP, is a monthly economic indicator that leverages the insights of accountants into the strength and prospects of businesses in the U.S. The 3-Month ACI hit 36.1, a rebound from the previous month's 29.35 (though still far below the 50 mark that separates expectations of growth from expectations of contraction). The 6-Month ACI, meanwhile, came in at 42.35, up a bit from last month's 40.18.

The index components mostly rose a bit, with the interesting exception of respondents' growth expectations for their own firms in the mid-term — likely as a result of concerns about the viability of their clients' businesses and their clients' ability to afford their services.

The ACI is created from a monthly poll of the Accounting Today Executive Research Council, an online community of more than 1,500 tax and accounting professionals.